(WHNT) — December 1 is recognized as World AIDS Day across the world, and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is urging testing and preventative measures to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

This year’s theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.”

The goal, started this year, is to reduce new infections by 75% in the next five years and 90% by 2030. To meet the goal, efforts will aim at five strategies to end the AIDS epidemic: diagnose, treat, prevent, respond, and engage the workforce.

World AIDS Day has been recognized every year since 1988, when it became the first-ever global health day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing once per year for people engaging in activities that can transmit HIV.

“It’s important to know your testing status,” said Sharon Jordan, director of ADPH’s Office of HIV Prevention and Care. “People who know their HIV status have the information they need to modify their behavior to protect others, get counseling, treatment and/or support they need to live longer and healthier lives.”

For more information about HIV and free testing, visit alabamapublichealth.gov.